Oberstaufen is a market town with about 7,800 inhabitants. The village with its districts Steibis/Aach and Thalkirchdorf as well as numerous small hamlets stretches at the foot of the Nagelfluhkette Nature Park, a mountain range on the northern edge of the Allgäu Alps.
The picturesque surroundings, the healthy healing climate and a long tradition as a health resort make Oberstaufen an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation. Here they can experience joie de vivre, living tradition, sociability and hospitality.
Worth a visit at any time of the year...
… in spring, when nature slowly awakens from hibernation. When the meadows in the valley are already green and the still snow-covered mountain peaks conjure up a dreamlike backdrop. You should not miss the crocus blossom on the Hündle at this time.
… in summer, when you can enjoy nature to the full while cycling or hiking, cool off in the lakes of the region or play the greens on the golf courses. A trip to the Hochgrat at sunrise, sunset or at full moon is then an unforgettable experience.
… in autumn, when it is particularly beautiful on the Alps and hikers are drawn to the peaks; when the wind blows the clouds across the sky and the forests change color. There are guests who come just to experience the Viehscheid with its special atmosphere.
… in winter, when the snow gives the landscape a magical glittering white coat. Then skiing on perfectly groomed slopes is the order of the day; ski tours, cross-country skiing on the freshly groomed trails, snowshoe hikes, tobogganing and ice skating.
Immerse yourself in nature
Nagelfluhkette Nature Park
A great biodiversity of animals and plants awaits you in the Nagelfluhkette Nature Park. The valleys and mountains, forests, meadows and pastures, alps, moors, streams, rivers and lakes, gorges and rocks are their habitat. The best way to discover this unique cultural and natural landscape is by hiking, biking or on guided tours with the rangers. Information worth knowing is provided by the Infopoint in the spa gardens of Oberstaufen as well as the Nature Park Center with its exhibition at the Großer Alpsee near Immenstadt.
Crocus blossom on the Hündle
When the sun’s rays gradually become stronger in March and the last snow on the mountain meadows thaws away, a natural spectacle worth seeing announces itself that attracts many visitors. This is when the first signs of spring emerge from the ground and cover the slopes of the Hündle with a carpet of white and purple blossoms. Crocuses as far as the eye can see. Oberstaufen Tourism Marketing has set up a crocus ticker so that you know when the time has come.
Unfortunately no longer an insider tip. Nevertheless, a natural spectacle worth seeing, how the Weißach between Buchenegg and Steibis has dug through the Nagelfluh rock. It is not for nothing that the waterfalls have been designated as a valuable geotope by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment. It is best to hike there early in the morning or later in the day, when there are not so many day tourists on the way and you can enjoy this magical place for yourself. Sometimes you can see daredevil gully jumpers there.
Small and Large Alpsee near Immenstadt
Popular excursion destinations nearby are the Kleine and Große Alpsee lakes near Immenstadt, about 15 kilometers away from us. Especially in summer, when temperatures are warm, the two natural lakes entice you with a refreshing dip. Here you can not only take a wonderful swim, but also go rowing and pedal boating as well as sailing, surfing, kite surfing or practice stand-up paddling.
Being active in sports
Hiking to the peak happiness
Oberstaufen is a paradise for hikers. The well-signposted network of hiking trails extends over some 350 kilometers and three altitudes: from flat, asphalted trails around the town to moderately difficult trails up to farmed alps and challenging tours into the alpine Allgäu mountains. It will not get boring there. The standard program includes the Staufen and the Kapf, so to speak our local mountains with beautiful views of the village. If you like, you can use the mountain railroads at the Hündle, Imberg and Hochgrat.
Cycling in varied landscape
Do you prefer to collect kilometers on a road bike or altitude meters on a mountain bike? Maybe you also like to gravel and gravel paths to let off steam. Or you prefer a more leisurely pace and cycle along the Weißach in the Constance Valley. No matter how fit you are: The varied landscape offers signposted paths with tours and trails for every level, so that cycling fun is not neglected. And for those who don’t want to bring their bike, there are plenty of rental stations, also for e-bikes.
Fun in summer toboggan run and Alpseecoaster
Speeding down the mountain, this thrill is not only enjoyed by kids and teenagers: The summer toboggan run at Hündle offers fun for all ages. Through 16 curves and two jumps, it goes down 850 meters in altitude with toboggans from the mountain station to the valley station. Those who want even more adventure can ride the rail-guided Alpseecoaster, Germany’s longest year-round toboggan run at Großer Alpsee near Immenstadt: 2.8 kilometers long with more than 100 curves, waves and jumps
Aquaria adventure pool: pleasure and wellness
The Aquaria adventure pool offers around 1,000 square meters of water landscape – 25-meter sports pool, children’s pool, outdoor pool, 2- and 5-meter diving towers as well as whitewater gyro and slide included. Those who like it quieter can use the brine and relaxation pools and enjoy the varied range of saunas, which offers a great view of the Hochgrat in the outdoor area. You can round off your wellness day with a soothing massage treatment.
Golfing in front of mountain panorama
Within a radius of eight kilometers from Le Bouveret there are three 18-hole golf courses and one 9-hole course. Here you can tee off against an idyllic mountain backdrop and work on your handicap on sunny slopes. From beginners and novices to professionals – the courses have something to offer for everyone.
Winter sports in winter wonderland
The Allgäu is an Eldorado for winter sports enthusiasts. Oberstaufen boasts two ski areas: the Hündle-Thalkirchdorf winter sports area and the Oberstaufen-Steibis ski arena on the Imberg. In addition, the Sinswang ski lifts are particularly suitable for beginners and families with little piste heroes. The Hochgratbahn brings ski tourers, freeriders and snowshoe hikers to the high-altitude winter wonderland. In addition, there are toboggan slopes and an ice rink in the spa park. And if you like it comfortable and romantic: book a horse-drawn carriage ride.
Prove courage in the high ropes climbing garden
Adventure seekers ahead! Climbing high up between thick tree trunks, overcoming obstacles, testing surefootedness, balance and a head for heights – brave people can prove themselves in the high ropes course. In the Oberstaufen region, this is possible in the Hauber forest ropes course at the Imbergkamm as well as in the Bärenfalle climbing forest at the Großer Alpsee. After you have successfully completed the course, you and your self-confidence will have grown – we promise! Afterwards, you can tackle more challenging mountain tours with more confidence.
Experience art, culture and tradition
Local history museums: a journey back in time
You can take a journey back in time to Oberstaufen’s past in the local history museum “Beim Strumpfar”. In the district of Knechtenhofen, the farmhouse museum “s’Huimatle” also gives an authentic impression of how people in the Allgäu used to live and work. Both museums are located in historic farmhouses, which are furnished in their original state with great attention to detail. Visits are worthwhile – not only on rainy days.
Spark fire: drive away the winter
A particularly atmospheric custom is the Funkenfeuer (spark fire). On Funkensonntag, the first Sunday after Ash Wednesday, at the beginning of Lent, tall wooden towers are piled up and burned in exposed places in the villages of the municipality. After dark, they can be seen from afar. This traditional custom, which is widespread in the Swabian-Alemannic region, is intended to drive away winter. Often on this day there are also so-called Funkenküchle to eat, also known as “Ausgezogene”, a lard pastry.
On May 1, boys and clubs traditionally erect a maypole in the town’s central square: mighty, tall trunks that are decorated all the way to the top. A morning pint with brass band music is part of the festive program.
In September, the return from the alpine pasture attracts many guests to the Allgäu. The Viehscheid, one of the best-known Allgäu traditions, is also celebrated in Oberstaufen and Thalkirchdorf. After their summer pasture on the alp, the cattle herds, led by their shepherds and the festively decorated wreathed cattle, move back to the valley, where they are welcomed by locals and guests and returned to their owners. Bells can be heard from afar and create a goose bump atmosphere.
Fasnatziestag: defying the death of plague
An experience that remains in the memory for a long time is the Fasnatziestag in Oberstaufen. Carnival Tuesday has been celebrated by the population for more than 350 years in remembrance of the devastating effects of the plague during the Thirty Years’ War. Despite the great deaths, the holiday is marked by merriment. It celebrates the cohesion of the surviving population, the new beginning. The day follows a traditional schedule including a historical parade and torchlight procession in traditional costume, with brass bands and drummers. An important role is played by the figure of Butz, who with his broom symbolically cleanses the festival participants as well as the entrances of houses from the plague.
Easter fountain: dressed up
If you drive through the Allgäu and other Bavarian regions during the Easter season, you will encounter magnificently decorated fountains everywhere. This is a custom from Franconian Switzerland that spread to other regions in the 1980s. With garlands of greenery more than 60 meters long, 1,300 hand-painted eggs and a crown complete with cross, Oberstaufen’s Easter fountain is considered one of the largest and most elaborately decorated.
St. George ride in Steibis
In honor of St. George, the patron saint of horses, riders and blacksmiths, groups of riders from the Allgäu traditionally gather in Steibis on the last Sunday in April. They meet in the centre of town and parade with festively decorated horses and carriages as well as flags, accompanied by the local brass band to the St. George monument in the Au. There, in the open air, a festive church service with blessing of riders and horses is held, framed by brass music and alphorn sounds
There is always a lot going on in Oberstaufen
Take a look at the current calendar of events.
Enjoy, relax, reflect
Simply delicious: the Allgäu cuisine
The Allgäu people like it hearty. In addition to the obligatory cheese plate with homemade wood-fired bread, traditional dishes such as cheese soup and Kässpatzen, Kaspressknödel and Krautkrapfen can be found on the menus of simple alpine inns, rustic guesthouses and fine restaurants. Often seasoned and garnished with fresh mountain and wild herbs. Also sweet gourmets come with strudel variations, Kaiserschmarrn, yeast plait and cake after grandmother’s recipe at their expense. Try and enjoy is the motto. And if your waistband is still tight after a homemade Tannenwipfel schnapps, it helps to get moving and do some sports (see above).
Every Friday: Weekly market
Small and fine is the weekly market that takes place every Friday morning on Marienplatz in Oberstaufen – right on our doorstep. Farmers, alpine dairies and other vendors from the surrounding area present their products there. You can get fresh milk, curd cheese and cheese; bacon and ham; fruit and vegetables as well as baked goods and honey. The offer is completed with flowers, herbs and plants, antipasti, fish, sheepskins and all kinds of other things. The fridge in your apartment is big… On request, the traders will vacuum-pack the goods so that you can take the taste of your Allgäu holiday home with you and enjoy it for longer.
The Oberstaufen spa gardens
You can spend hours in the spa gardens in the centre of town: stroll around and admire the beautiful planting, tread water in the Kneipp pool and then doze a bit on a sunbed by the pond. Watch the kids romp around the adventure playground with a cup of coffee or join them for a round of mini-golf. In winter there is an ice rink for skating. The park is large enough that it can serve as an oasis of calm and a leisure facility at the same time. The Staufenpark is also a popular venue for events. There is always something going on.
Beauty and wellness
If you want to take some time out and really pamper yourself, you don’t necessarily have to book a stay of several days in a wellness hotel. Some of the local hotels offer day spa services. You can also relax in the Aquaria with its large water and sauna area and its own massage department – and with free admission with the Oberstaufen PLUS guest card. Our town also has a wide range of hairdressing salons and beauty studios.
Alpine huts: escaping everyday life
You can enjoy simple dishes of Allgäu cuisine and homemade cheese with a sip of milk, cool beer or herbal lemonade at the managed alpine huts in the mountains around Oberstaufen. There are around 40 of them in the area of our market town. Nowhere does it taste better than on the sun terraces with a view of the magnificent panorama of the foothills of the Alps or in the cosy parlours where it is hearty and sociable, sometimes even with live music. At altitudes of 900 metres and above, people are on first-name terms. Everyday life recedes into the background; profession, origin and hierarchies no longer play a role.
Magic moments on the Hochgrat
On the mountain you are a bit closer to heaven, as the saying goes. And you feel this when you experience the full moon, sunrise or sunset up there. There is then a unique, magical atmosphere that opens the heart and makes you receptive to the breathless beauty of nature and its creation. The Hochgratbahn, a cable car, makes this experience possible with adventure rides on special dates. Under the motto “breathing space” you can also experience atmospheric mountain masses, reflect and recharge your batteries.
Inner contemplation: the church of Zell
An art-historical gem is located in the village of Zell. The Gothic church dates back to missionaries who came to the region from the monasteries of St. Gallen and Chur. The church is already mentioned in documents from the 9th century. In the choir there are wall paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, which were uncovered again in the 19th century. Equally old and worthy of note are the carvings on the altars. Outside on the façade of the church, sun benchs invite you to rest and contemplate.
On the Way to Santiago
Various routes of the Way of St. James pilgrimage lead through the market town of Oberstaufen. Pilgrims on their way from Tyrol, Munich and Augsburg through the Allgäu towards Lake Constance like to stop off at our hotel. As a hospitable and cosmopolitan house, you are welcome to stay with us if you value comfortable accommodation along your strenuous journey. We are also happy to make an exception for you as far as the minimum occupancy period is concerned.
Trips to the surrounding area
Kempten: Allgäu metropolis and Roman city
By car or train, you can reach the Allgäu metropolis of Kempten in about half an hour, which has a lot to offer. There you can follow the historical traces of the Romans, for example in the archaeological park Cambodunum. Churches and museums invite you to go sightseeing. Lively historic alleys and modern shopping temples promise shopping pleasure. An excursion is worthwhile!
Vintage car mountain race
As a lover of beautiful, historic cars and a fan of motor sports, you should not miss a visit to a mountain race. Rarely seen vehicles with polished bodies can be seen at the Allgäu Oldtimer Festival on the traditional route from Missen to Wiederhofen and at the Jochpass Oldtimer Memorial in Bad Hindelang.
Lake Constance: Lindau and Bregenz
The Bavarian Sea, as Lake Constance (Bodensee) is also called, is about 40 kilometres away and can be reached quickly by train or car. On its eastern shore, the cities of Lindau and Bregenz are ideal for day trips, sightseeing and shopping.
Would you like to combine your stay in Oberstaufen with a visit to the Bregenz Festival? An open-air production on the lake stage with its spectacular scenery has a very special flair and remains an unforgettable musical experience. The festival town is only 45 minutes away by car. So it’s also worth taking the opposite route when all the rooms in Brezenz, Lindau and Dornbirn are fully booked during the festival season.